Anxiety Sucks

My past few weeks have been filled with a lot of panic attacks and anxiety. Actually I’m not sure they are panic attacks, but they are what I’d consider panic attacks. I get this feeling  of anxiety, a little tightness in my chest, I feel like my heart rate is fast, but it isn’t, and I just find myself unable to calm down even with deep breathing.

Kind of sounds like a heart attack when I write it out that way, but at the moment I need to stay off WebMD. I know it’s anxiety. I have had a lot on my plate. I worry a lot in general. I stick my foot in my mouth quite often and deal with the repercussions, which require a significant amount of my time stressing about how to deal with things.

I worry about my kids. Am I doing enough? Am i doing too much? What am I doing wrong? My son has been downright nasty lately. Maybe you can say it’s that he’s almost 13 and that’s typical, but dear lord. He walks in the house and immediately starts being nasty to my youngest daughter. He goes out of his way to be mean.

He argues with me constantly because clearly it’s my fault that he’s in special education for a reading disability and he wants me to tell the school he doesn’t need to go anymore. And he just won’t let things go. EVER! He will talk about something until you want to give in…that’s the plan, I think. But I don’t fall for it.

He recently went off his ADHD medicine and I’m beginning to think this was a bad decision. I feel like it’s adding to his behavior issues. I don’t want to be constantly arguing with him or telling him to calm down. He’s an amazing kid. One on one, he’s so awesome, but he’s so freakin selfish. I just don’t get it.

If his sister’s get to do anything, he gets angry and needs to do something better. He does a LOT! We may not be rich, but we do a lot for our kids to be able to do the sports they want and activities, etc. Out trip to Disney almost sent me over the edge. Any time his sisters wanted to go on a ride he didn’t want to go. If he wanted to go on something then the group could be happy and have fun, but if he was miserable, we all were miserable.

I need to talk to someone about it, or bring him back to therapy because I am at my wit’s end. It’s adding to my stress, but certainly not all of it.

I feel like in my 40s I shouldn’t be worrying about childish games that girls play, but some people never grow up. The gossip and nastiness never ends. It’s not one thing in particular, but rather a general feeling of no longer being included. There is a part of me that’s really okay because even I know I don’t fit in. I’m far from the cool kid, HAHA. But I guess it’s that I don’t know what I did that’s bugging me.

What I’ve decided is to handle it differently than usual. I need to look at people for who they are. I have a lot of really terrific people in my life. I may not be that person who goes out every weekend and posts pics all over FB drinking with my friends, but I have friends that make me laugh, smile, and that I know have my back as I have theirs.

So back to the anxiety…I think that with everything going on it’s this breaking point and at random points through the day my body just says, “ok I’m done, you need to stop now.” I don’t like medicine, but I have been taking a half of a Xanax when I need it. It helps takes that edge off and then I use my breathing and some essential oils. I won’t push those on anyone, but I’m starting to use them and I think for certain things they do help me.

I’m not crazy trying to cure everything with them, but headaches, relaxation, stress, sore muscles, etc., they work pretty well.

My only good news (other than my friend from my last blog is doing magnificent and is already home from the hospital) is that I think the change in medication has finally allowed me to start losing weight. I was gaining anywhere between 1-3 pounds per week for over a year. Nothing I did would stop it. I exercised like a maniac. Tried every diet plan…everything. I was eating under 1000 calories a day and wouldn’t lose a pound.

A few months after a medication switch I’m finally seeing the weight come off. I am down 20lbs since November, but 10lbs since February. This is huge for me. I couldn’t get the scale to move forever.

I’m also feeling well enough to lightly walk and jog on the treadmill. I’m slow as hell. I’m lucky is I can jog for 3 minutes, but I keep going and I feel pretty good. I was so diligent before we left for Disney and I need to get back to it. My FitBit was keeping me accountable. I’ll get back on track tomorrow, though I’m sure I’ll be going backward in stamina.

Anyway, this blog was all over the place. That’s how scattered I’ve been. Maybe I have ADHD. I’m old and crotchety and I think in my old age I am less tolerant of people who are fake. I don’t have time. I am working hard to surround myself with happy people. It’s not easy letting go of friends that have been around for a while, but let me tell you, Facebook has this new acquaintance feature. It’s fabulous!

You can list your friends as acquaintances and choose not to share things with acquaintances. I decided I didn’t need the people that I don’t really see or talk with to have access to my posts, pictures, etc. I’m not deleting them. They can see my comments, etc. just not every post. I LOVE that! It’s helping me not be an unfriending bitch while still keeping things private from those with whom I question their trust.

I’ll try not to be so scattered next time!!

 

 

Diet: Day 1

strawberry-shake

I’m still alive…a little hungry, but still alive. My Ideal Shape order came today and I’m pleased to say, so far everything tastes really good. I bought a supplement that goes along with the program and I think tomorrow I will take it in the afternoon because I’m feeling way too much energy for the night. It might be an Ambien night over here.

I was able to stick to the program and drink all the water I was supposed to. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom from all the water, but other than that, it was all good. I was trying to go to bed without a snack, but I was pretty hungry so  had a gluten-free rice cake with peanut butter and so far so good.

I think I’m just excited to get started. Tomorrow I will step on the scale so I can get back to weighing myself weekly. I’m not looking forward to that, but I need to do it.

My migraine from last night lasted well into the day. I actually had to lay down with the TENS unit running to loosen the muscles in my neck. I was able to kick it for the most part, but it definitely affected the majority of my day. I’m trying to get another round of editing done for the last book I have on my plate this week. I believe two of them will come back for another round and final proofing, but it was a good feeling to completely finish a military fiction novel.

I had a tough time getting into the novel at first, as military fiction is not really my thing, but much to my surprise, I love the way it turned out. I really got into the story, and the author is such a fascinating veteran. It’s always a great feeling to finish a book, but I get a little weird about it…like I’m afraid to let it go. No matter how many times I read something, I always want to make little changes. It’s hard to say, “This is done.”

The three novels I was working on this week are all very good. I’m excited for the authors. It’s nice to be a small part of their book. I did let one almost-client know that I didn’t want to work with her…something that isn’t easy for me. I edited a sample chapter and she sent it back saying that she didn’t want to add commas (I added commas) because they are “obsolete.” That was enough to send me over the edge, so I told her I didn’t think we were a good match.

Earlier in my career I would take on any author. I thought I could help anyone, but I’ve learned to not take on people that I don’t get along with on a personal level…and especially not someone who thinks punctuation is becoming obsolete. I almost had to pop a Xanax!

The other thing I accomplished today was doing a resume for my daughter. Did I mention she was 9? I felt a bit like a freaky stage mom, but she wants to try out for a part in The Sound of Music next month and they require a resume and headshot. I’ll be taking pictures this weekend. I’m ridiculously proud of her that she is eager to try out for a part. She is so she and gets so nervous. I just give her so much credit for even trying.

She was pretty disappointed that she didn’t get a role in her school’s fourth grade play, but the thing is, she can really sing, but acting might be a struggle. Since she is so shy, I’m not sure how the audition went. She has a stutter sometimes, and I know that’s always on her mind when she’s speaking in public.

Anyway, she’s taking a class this weekend on how to audition and I’m hoping this helps her. Part of the problem is that she is not a competitive kid…at all. She needs to be a little more competitive if she wants to do plays, but if it doesn’t happen for her this year, she will get there. This is a kid who didn’t talk to anyone in kindergarten for several months because she was so shy. The fact that she’s auditioning at all is so huge. I just want her to get a role so she builds confidence in herself, even a small role.

So she’ll be auditioning for the part of the second youngest Von Trapp kid. Fingers crossed. I’ll probably be puking from nerves when she goes in to audition. Clearly she gets her fear and panic fro her mother.

I have a PPT for my son tomorrow that I’m starting to feel stressed about. If you don’t know what a PPT meeting is, chances are you do not have a child in special education. Two of my children are dyslexic, and tomorrow is my son’s annual meeting. Last time, we had to adjourn the meeting and I came back with my co-worker, who is an advocate. It’s funny, I attend PPTs with clients all the time, but when it’s your own child, it really helps to have someone else there with you that you feel is on your side. It often feels like an us against them thing.

Other than that, there isn’t much else going on here.

I Feel a Migraine Coming

headache

Those of you who get migraines know exactly what it means to feel one coming. While I know everyone is different, for me it starts with trails of light as I move my eyes. I don’t have the pain at this point, but I know it’s coming.

While we’ve had a little reprieve from the freezing cold weekend, we are getting a little bit of snow tonight and a lot more is coming our way on Saturday. While I can definitely relate my migraines to hormonal changes (period week is hell), I find that the pressure with storms really affects me.

The more I read about and talk to people with fibromyalgia, migraines are a common thread for many of us. While my fibro and rheumatoid arthritis cause me a lot of pain, nothing compares to a migraine. When it’s bad, I can’t function at all. I’m useless as a mom, editor, parent advocate, etc. Just plain useless.

I’m hoping to head this migraine off by taking some Excedrin. I don’t want to pull out the Maxalt just yet. I’m like a crazy person. I feel like I have to hoard those for horrific migraine days. I didn’t take Melatonin earlier tonight because I thought I’d be exhausted. I was up late editing last night, and I worked a full day at the office today. That means no time for a quick nap or a cuddle with my cats.

One new thing I’ve been trying is essential oils. I know there are a lot of great companies out there, but since I have no idea what I need or want, I bought a sample pack on Amazon. No idea even what brand they are, but I love them. I use the peppermint when I have a headache coming on, lemongrass just makes me feel happy, lavender to help sleep, and then there are a few others. I only bring this up because of the migraine issue. If you haven’t tried peppermint oil, it’s worth a shot.

While it doesn’t take the place of medication (sorry, I wish I could say it did), I do feel a noticeable difference when I put it on my temples. A friend just told me about a certain blend that is good for fibro. I’ll report back on that if I buy it. It’s from doTerra, which is supposed to have wonderful products, but they are pricey.

Why I’m a Crab Today

I think I’m crabby because even though it wasn’t a bad day, I just don’t feel great. I hate to complain when I know I have days where my pain level is far worse, but it’s exhausting just not feeling great. I can’t remember the last time I woke up and felt refreshed by a good night’s sleep. Heck, even on a great Ambien night of sleep I still wake up exhausted.

Maybe BLAH is a better word. I’m blah because I haven’t had a day without a freakin ache in so long. I’ve been under my heated blanket since 5:30pm and my fingers are still like icicles (thanks Raynaud’s). So there, that’s tonight’s post. I’m blah and I hate it.

Tomorrow begin my weight loss journey with Ideal Shape. I don’t want to bore anyone, but I feel like if I hold myself accountable on the blog, maybe I won’t eat a bag of cookies or chocolates. I’m actually excited even though I technically started smaller portions and cleaner eating on Monday (we are going to ignore the Pepperidge Farm cookies I scarfed down when I got home from work).

Worst case scenario, tomorrow night I’ll be reporting back that the shakes were horrid. Best case, I’ll like them and feel full between the shakes, snacks, and drinking way more water than usual. They want you to take your weight and divide it in half, and that is the amount of water you should be drinking each day.

Hopefully, I can do that! We’ll see. I just want this extra weight off in time for summer.

Oh and to finish up, I was invited by the women who work at the pediatrician’s office to see 50 Shades of Grey. What the hell was I thinking when I said yes. I didn’t even make it a quarter of the way through the book…they lost me at “butt plug” and the whole contract thing. I know I said I was making an effort to be more social, and they are all super nice, but dear lord…I wasn’t planning on seeing that one. Should be interesting. I’m either going to cancel for fear of not knowing anyone, or pop a half a Xanax and force myself to go!

Before I admit that the half an Ambien is kicking in, I just wanted to say hello and thank you for all the new blog followers. Thank you Goddess Simmons Drew for sharing the blog on your FB group. Connecting with people that understand what it’s like to have an autoimmune disease and the crazy roller coaster it is, has made a world of difference to me. We’re not alone.

Must Get Some Sleep

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I’d like to wish all the Dads out there a Happy Father’s Day! I hope it was a good one. Mine was a bit crazy. My daughter had a recital practice with her voice coach this morning and I thought it wasn’t going to go well when she walked into a room full of teenagers (she’s 9). She ended up shocking me, and just saying, ” See you in two hours, Mom!” I picked my jaw up off the floor and went home to do some laundry.

I think over the past week–oh who am I kidding, probably for as long as I can remember–my house has been a freakin mess. I have too much crap. My kids have too many clothes, toys, crap, etc. All I wanted to do today was spend the day cleaning. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? It wasn’t! But it needed to get done. I really only tackled my bedroom and my girls’ room, along with 5 loads of laundry.

The kids went out on the boat with their Dad and I opted to stay home, marinate some steaks, and clean while nobody was bugging me to cook something, play something, answer something, or do something. I’m gearing up for the kids to be home for summer in a few days. I need to throw out some of their stuff before they are home for summer vacation. If they don’t see me getting rid of it, they likely won’t notice it’s gone.

The girls’ rooms looks so nice. I hung new curtains that have zebra stripes and organized all their crap. Now that it’s all organized I can easily go through their dressers tomorrow and start tossing stuff for Good Will. Then, I’m consider starting my son’s room if I have enough energy. My energy level gave out around 6pm this evening and my body decided that I was done for the day.

I felt pretty well overall, but my right hip just has that nagging pain that won’t go away. It’s more of an annoyance. Every now and then it gets worst and I’m limping a little, but again–not as bad as in the winter. I keep reminding myself what it was like when it was -2 here in Connecticut. It sucked. I’m just waiting for some nice warm weather. It’s not normal for me to have on fuzzy socks and a sweatshirt in June–yep, that was me at Big Y!

So, tomorrow I have a very big day and I’m a tad bit stressed. I even took a Xanax because I knew sleep was not in my future without it. I’ve been taking some special education law courses in the hopes of becoming more of an advocate for families looking to get special education services for their children. As I mentioned, I work for a terrific nonprofit organization that does wonderful work helping families of children with special needs, but so many of my cases involve schools that are denying services for kids who desperately need them, especially very young kids. Early intervention is key to a child’s success.  Anyway, tomorrow I’ going to my first PPT (Planning and Placement Team meeting) as an advocate.

I’m not sure if I’m ready. It’s for someone that I know personally and she asked me because she knows I care and want to help. It should be cut and dry, but I just want it to go as well as possible, because I do care. There is a part of me that might not be cut out for this because I will take it personally when there are young children who need help involved. Ha! I’m talking myself out of it before I even finish the first course or go to my first PPT, that isn’t for my own child.

Needless to say, I need a good night’s sleep. I don’t know what I’m going to wear. ACK! I can’t stress over that type of crap.

In other news, I have finally come to terms with the NY Rangers loss in the Stanley Cup finals. To celebrate how well they did this year, I dressed up Brutus in a Rangers jersey. I also bought him an outfit for 4th of July. My kids decided that I’m insane, but look, chances are they are all going to end up in therapy anyway. Everyone always blames the mother! At least I’m giving them plenty to talk about. “Well there was this time my mom came home with a 4-foot metal flamingo and named him Brutus. He then became part of the family….”

Wish me luck tomorrow, both at the PPT and for not throwing up from anxiety at the PPT.

Not a Good Rheumatoid Day

Photo by DerNetteAlex

Photo by DerNetteAlex

While on the whole, today was much better than yesterday, I’m still feeling like hell in terms of my rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia pain. I keep waking up with the same arm pain and numbness. I’m not sure if it’s how I’m sleeping, but my pain was so bad this morning that I called out sick from work.

For the most part I work from home, but on Fridays I work as a private tutor for a man who is low functioning on the autism spectrum. My days with him are hit or miss. He has the most brilliant mind. I can ask him any date and he can tell me what day of the week it was on. Some days I go in and I come home feeling awesome because I know I’ve gotten through to him, and others he has perseverative speech and it is non-stop.

When I woke up my hands were swollen and I could hardly move, so I had to call his group home and tell them I couldn’t come in. After getting the kids on the bus, I went back to sleep until almost 11AM. Days like this are really frustrating. I know I have so much to get done. My house is a disaster and I have freelance clients trying to give me more work. It’s like my mind wants to go, but my body is failing me. I’m exhausted and in pain…and it sucks. I can’t even sugar coat it today. We’re back to frigid weather so I’m sure that’s not helping either.

I have a lot to do tomorrow to get ready for my youngest daughter’s family birthday party on Sunday. I’d love to say my house was people-ready, but it’s far from it. At times I wish I was one of those organized neat freaks. Every now and then I really make the effort to be organized, but when I feel like crap, things start piling up around the house. Obviously I don’t have a choice but to help the kids with homework and projects. Their stuff comes before dusting and scrubbing showers.

I just feel like I need to work up this incredible amount of energy to even thing about beginning a huge task of scrubbing my bathroom the way it needs to be done. I’m really hoping I feel well enough to do it tomorrow. My in-laws tend to notice everything…and look for more reasons to say I suck.

It’s a tough relationship. Think Everybody Loves Raymond. I like to think my mother-in-law means well, but when she scheduled an eye doctor’s appointment for my son the week after I took him to an eye doctor and he got glasses, it was enough to send me over the edge. Luckily my friend works at the office and called to ask me if I knew she was setting up an appointment and told them she was going to pay in cash and not go through our insurance. I was left wondering if she was going to try and pick him up from school without telling me.

It’s been a tough road with my in-laws. I love them, and would do anything to help them, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that they love me, but they don’t like me. It’s taken years to get to that point and a whole lot of letting things go (and even popping a xanax now and then). I just have never tried so hard with a group of people and still had them really dislike me.

Anyway, we have about 15 people coming on Sunday for my daughter’s birthday and I know when I overdo it tomorrow, I’m going to be exhausted on Sunday. But what choice do I have? When you’re a mom (or dad) you do what you need to do for your kids. It’s important that she has a nice party. It’s less important that my closets are disorganized.

My good news of the day is that my accountant is awesome! She helped me organize all my freelance stuff and came up with lots of deductions that I had no idea about. That is a huge weight off my shoulders.

Gluten Update

After a few days of doing really well, I had a slice of pizza tonight. I don’t feel any different, but I’m sure the gluten wasn’t even all out of my system yet. I can’t get down about it, tomorrow is another day. I even bought gluten-free angel food cake so I could have cake with my daughter for her party.